The only surprise in director Jake Kasdan’s “Sex Tape” is that the movie’s plot really is as thin as its premise. Hoping to spice up their near-dormant sex life, married couple Annie and Jay (Cameron Diaz, Jason Segal), decide to film themselves having sex for what ends up being a three hour tour of “The Joy of Sex.”
Through the kind of contrivance conceived only to allow Hollywood comedies to have a second act, the video is accidentally disbursed to a half-dozen or so people the couple have gifted with iPads. Cue the comedic frenzy to retrieve those iPads before being discovered.
That’s the movie.
Only after it feels like a lazy afterthought do Annie and Jay stop to share a Big Think over the realization that the need to make a sex tape might mean there are deeper problems in the marriage. But this idea, like the rest of the story, never adds up to anything close to profound, moving, or amusing.
Other than a thin plot without a single subplot to at least pretend it’s a movie, “Sex Tape” serves up two extremely unlikable and borderline sleazy protagonists. Through a series of opening flashbacks, we are introduced to Annie and Jay by witnessing them having all kinds of sex in all kinds of positions and in a number of public places.
Their pillow talk consists of…
Her: “I love f*cking you.”
Him: “And I f*cking love you.”
Before the night is over, Annie and Jay will haul their own young children into the bowels of the YouTube of porn sites, which just happens to be run by a guy named Wasted Movie Star Cameo. The movie, naturally, still wants to have it both ways. This sequence cuts to another set in a bright American kitchen with Perfect Mom and Perfect Dad handing Perfect Children a Perfectly Balanced Breakfast.
Rob Lowe deserves credit for giving everything he has to a clichéd character based on the one-joke idea that every buttoned-down, family values corporate leader is really a coke fiend with a pink 13-inch dildo next to his bed. His scenes are by the far the best, but that’s a backhanded compliment.
The film’s final minutes are a cruel joke that will ensure you envy the smart folks who walk out early (of the 10 people in my theatre, 2 bolted). For some reason the filmmakers believe we actually want to see portions of the sex tape, which includes a scene of Jason Segal licking Cameron Diaz’s armpit.
“Sex Tape” is such a hideous misfire you walk out conditioned to never want to see Cameron Diaz’s side-boob ever again.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC